Danville Area Teachers Prepare to Strike

DANVILLE — About 100 teachers, mostly from the Danville Area School District, stood together Tuesday night at an informational picket before a school board meeting at the high school.

Teachers in the district have been working under an expired contract since late 2012. Negotiations with the school board have not led to an agreement. The teachers union calls a strike planned for April 17 its last option.

“The board has a decision to make. Come to the table bargain in good faith, realistically, or a strike is possible,” said Mark McDade, a PSEA representative.

School board president Allan Schappert said the board is willing to compromise,  but won’t agree to requests that do not have the entire community in mind.

“So, obviously there is a difference in opinion. ‘Well, you have money that belongs to us and we want it.’  We take more of a conservative approach,” said Schappert.

The teachers union made it known it’s not about the big bucks, but more about a fair contract. Some of the parents who came to the meeting hope this contract won’t affect their wallets.

“We are all feeling the economy hurt right now, the cost of living. I’m not getting a raise because of it. I know that’s part of my job,” said Liz Swartz, a parent.

If a strike happens, teachers said it could last until the state Department of Education forces them back into the classroom, which could push back graduation and affect afterschool activities.

“There are also kids that are upset because they think it’s all the teachers, but they don’t realize it’s more than the teachers wanting a better contract or them wanting to work out some kind of negotiation,” said Chris Morgan, a student at Danville Area High School.

Both sides hope to come to an agreement at a negotiating session set for April 16, one day before teachers plan to go on strike.

14 comments

  • FormerResidentofNEPA

    I was waiting for the typical NEPA teacher bashing to start.
    What is the future of your child or children worth?
    Are you capable of educating them so that they have a hope of being successful? (I highly doubt it.)
    Perhaps the problem is actually with self serving school board members (who most often know nothing about educational or public administration) and corrupt administrations. When was the last time we saw a superintendent taking advantage of his position.

    I once thought it sad that so many future educators were leaving NEPA to find employment.
    Now I understand why they left.
    I left for the same reason.

    Good luck with the future up there. Eventually everyone with a modicum of sense and any marketable skills will find their way out of the area.

  • mbyers@processtechnologies.com

    We went throught a strike in Wyoming Area School district and the only people that it hurts our my kids. I understand that the contract has expired, and I understand that there are some teachers that deserve a raise, however there are some teachers that need to retire. When a teacher makes the decision to become at teacher, what is the main driving force for that, it sure is hell is not the money, its to educate our children. We have a teacher in our district that makes $84k and they are still bitching. Be glad to have a job, and oh by the way you may have to pay a premium for your health benefits. Not all teachers are this way, but there are some that give all the other teachers a bad rep. As far as planning for an entire month of their summer vacation, give me a break, half of the work that is given to my kids comes out of a book, that then is copied and distributed to the kids. Even if you did take a month to plan for the school year, what about all the breaks during the school year. I have friends that are teachers and they tell me the hardest part about their job, was the interview to get the job.

      • mbyers@processtechnologies.com

        No it wasn’t. My english teachers went on strike too often. But thank you for taking the time to read my post. I will send you all my emails and letter that I type so you can correct them.

  • Backing the Teachers

    1 month of that vacation is spent preparing for the school year. 2-4 weeks spent taking continuing education classes and writing curriculum. So yeah, summer’s “off” after working 12-16 hour days for a whopping $50,000 a year. All doing such an unimportant job, like EDUCATING THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY. Get over yourself, learn what a teacher actually does, and THEN open your mouth.

    • svjoker

      Teachers are the hardest working people who ever lived! Just ask one, They never get tired of patting their own backs.

  • Fed up with teachers

    Seems to me children got a better education when they went to a 1 room school house, and the teachers didn’t make 60k a year…now we spend 35% of Pa’s state budget on education and look at the results. You hear all these democrat candidates talking about how they will spend more on education, well we already spend 35% of Pa’s state budget on it so how much more of my money do you democrats want? 40% 45% 50% of Pa’s state budget…Teachers are a greedy lot.

    • Backing the Teachers

      Our teachers are far from greedy. All they want is what they should have had over the past 2.5 years. The money is there. What is the district doing with it? Our district is ranked among the top 15% in the nation. There is a reason for that. We have the best teachers who are most certainly not in it for the paycheck. If you calculate all the hours they put in and stretch that over the year, they are actually underpaid. Our illustrious Govermor Corbett shoulders a good part of the blame as well for all the cuts he has made to education.

      • not backing all the teachers

        Ill be honest, I went to danville(until I left 4 cyber school), and learned something until I hit HS then i had teachers who we were lucky if they showed up half the time…..and when they did show up, it was story time there are certain teachers that do deserve raises….but then there are others….that most certainly do not…

      • Tom

        get out I say find knew teachers times are hard right now for them to use it to there advantage and try to get more money is wrong and not teaching our kids anything send all who want to go on strike out to find new jobs let em go work in a factory maybe then they will see how made they have it my if they go on strike does that mean we dont have to pay school taxes lol who do they think they are greedy is what they are

    • Will Robinson

      Children got a better education when they had 2 parents at home in the evening supporting their children’s academic activities.

  • Sylvester Jones

    Strike against the public? No public unions until we have a say in all their thievery. Its our money, and I don’t belong to their union and should not be subject to paying their atrocious pay and pensions.

    • Backing the Teachers

      Then move to another school district if you think their pay is atrocious. How about Shik or Shamokin? A low rate district and boy does it show. Maybe send your kid to school with gang bangers so you can save a few bucks in taxes.

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